Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

May 17, 2007

Contact: Eric Gerber
713.743.8189 (office)

Cemo Hall Will Feature State of the Art Auditorium and Two 70-Seat Classrooms

HOUSTON, May 17, 2007 – The University of Houston System Board of Regents has approved the design and construction of a new, $9-million building on the UH campus to be named in recognition of Regent Michael J. Cemo, who is providing the lead gift, $3 million, to help fund construction.

The 33,000-square-foot lecture hall and academic center will be called Michael J. Cemo Hall.

Along with the state of the art auditorium that will seat 450, two 70-seat classrooms and faculty offices, this multi-story building will house three vital services for students: a satellite of the University’s Writing Center, a testing facility and the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Career Services Center.

“I was a typical UH student in the 1960s, working and going to school at the same time. Like so many of us, I would not have had a successful career and life over the past 40 years without the University of Houston,” Cemo said. “My wife and I are pleased to be in the position today to give back to the University of Houston and the students who will come here in the future. We hope that this gift will serve as a reminder to other alumni about the importance of UH to our community and to our future.”

UH President Jay Gogue expressed appreciation for Cemo’s contribution. “The success of a university’s alumni is a distinctive measure of the success of the university. It is particularly meaningful to receive a contribution of this type from an alumnus because it not only recognizes the success that Mike and Becky Cemo have had in their lives, but it also reaches out to help future generations of students and alumni,” Gogue said.

Michael J. Cemo Hall will be located adjacent to Melcher Hall, the current home of the Bauer College of Business, and the soon to be constructed Calhoun Lofts, a new residence hall. The academic center will ease the severe classroom shortage currently faced by Bauer and will serve as the home of the rapidly expanding Global Business Minor program.

“There has been no more important figure to Bauer and the College’s future, other than Ted Bauer himself, than Mike Cemo,” said Arthur D. Warga, dean of the C. T. Bauer College of Business.  “This major commitment on his part raises our mission and will build a strong foundation for a lasting legacy.  The impact of this building to our students will be immeasurable.  We are proud that the building will be named in Mike’s honor.  By being a home for Global Business Minor classes, Cemo Hall will also elevate our College’s profile in supporting Houston’s role as a truly global city.  We are enthusiastic that many will join our efforts to make it a reality,” Dean Warga added.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2008, and the anticipated opening is January 2009.

“This versatile building will redefine the northeast quadrant of the campus,” said David Irvin, UH associate vice president for plant operations. “It will play a major role in projects directly connected to the campus master plan by anchoring a series of campus quadrangles that will include residence halls, classroom buildings and other planned facilities.”

Cemo, who currently serves as vice chairman of the UHS Board of Regents, was appointed to the board in 2001 by Gov. Rick Perry. His term expires in August. A Houston resident for more than a half century, Cemo earned his bachelor's of science degree in economics from UH in 1968.

Cemo was president and CEO of AIM Distributors, Inc., the retail-marketing arm of AIM Management Group Inc., and a director of AMVESCAP PLC until his retirement in January 2004. His community activities include board memberships in the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Society of the Performing Arts, and formerly the Association for Community Television. He also is president of the Michael and Rebecca Cemo Family Foundation.

In 2002, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Bauer College of Business.

In addition to his work on the Board of Regents, Cemo’s involvement with his alma mater includes membership on the Dean's Advisory Board for the Bauer College of Business and serving on the Board of Managers of the Cougar Investment Fund, LLC, a multi-million dollar investment fund managed by students of the business school.

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